COLLEGE STATION, Texas — This Saturday’s Spring Football Game will serve as a preview for the Fightin’ Texas Aggies’ second season in the redeveloped Kyle Field. And the stadium is in the spotlight for another reason: Kyle Field is one of five sports facilities nationwide and one of only two collegiate sites nominated as Sports Facility of the Year by the Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily.
The winner will be announced May 18 at the Sports Business Awards in New York City. Launched in 2008, the Sports Business Awards celebrate the leaders, visionaries and day-to-day practitioners who personify excellence in the business of sports.
“As the Home of the 12th Man, Kyle Field has always had a special place in the hearts of Aggies,” said John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “Now that ‘home’ has achieved prominence worldwide, and we are honored by this nomination from the Sports Business Journal.”
After a $485 million renovation, Kyle Field is the largest collegiate football stadium in Texas and one of the largest in the nation.
Other nominees are the Daytona International Speedway; Avaya Stadium, home to the San Jose Earthquakes, a professional soccer team; Petco Park, home to Major League’s San Diego Padres; and the Bill Snyder Family Stadium at Kansas State.
Overall, the Kyle Field renovation took almost two years, over two football seasons, without the Aggies missing a game. It took an average of 1,300 workers on the site and more than 120 subcontractors, working more than 3.5 million man-hours. It was completed on time and under budget.
Manhattan Vaughn Vice President Greg McClure reflected on the massive undertaking.
“We are grateful for our experience of building Kyle Field, and each of us will proudly tell our children’s children about this influential time period in our lives,” McClure said. “We are thrilled about the future generations of families that will enjoy watching the Aggies play at the stadium and the memorable moments those experiences will inspire.”
The design preserved a historic structure while creating a modern facility that brought fans closer to the action by lowering the field and moving seats nearer to it. The renovation also added a three-story Hall of Champions, a theater and public plazas that allow the facility—the largest public space on the campus — to be used 365 days a year.
“Kyle Field is the first stadium designed in response to extensive market research. These findings crafted the story of Kyle Field and together we achieved the largest stadium redevelopment in college football history,” said Earl Santee, Managing Director of Populous. “Kyle Field is very deserving of Sports Business Journal’s highest honor in facility development. The opportunity to reimagine such an iconic place is a true privilege.”
The renovation increased the official capacity from 82,589 to 102,733, adding suites, restrooms, food vendors and amenities such as a Wi-Fi network that allowed fans to break a collegiate record for data usage during the Oct. 17th game against Alabama and exceeded pro sport levels at all but the 2015 Super Bowl.
“Corning is honored that our ONE™ optical converged solution helps make the Aggies the most connected fans anywhere,” said Mike O’Day, vice president of Wireless Networks for Corning Optical Communications. “With an all-fiber infrastructure enabling a cellular network capable of delivering coverage for all four leading wireless operators, and a Wi-Fi network capable of handling collegiate record-breaking data usage, the Corning team already believes Kyle Field is the Sports Facility of the Year!”
About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.2 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, seven state agencies, two service units and a comprehensive health science center, the A&M System educates more than 140,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, externally funded research expenditures exceed $932 million and help drive the state’s economy.
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The Texas A&M University System